Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sustainable Leadership

Yesterday I took part in a Sustainable leadership seminar at Ernst & Young in Stockholm organized in cooperation with the Hunger project. I was once again able to go as a member of Sustainergies, so thanks to them, it was very interesting! My favourite part of the seminar was the debate in the end where, among others, Stina Billinger took part, she was also one of the moderators during Sustainability Day that I went to earlier this year. I have to say I was also very positively surprised by Sasja Beslik, CEO at Responsible Investments at Nordea. I thought that someone working at bank would not have such strong views on sustainability, but he proved me wrong.

 The debat is about to start

Another interesting profile and the main speaker during the seminar was Kjell Hasslert who is an entrepreneur and previously has worked as CEO at Telge, an energy company working for renewable energies. His leadership advices were:
  • What you ask for is what you get, as a CEO one is constantly at meetings so dare to ask about the sustainability issues, people will focus on the things that are asked for by the leaders
  • Equality,  hire women and people with a different (cultural) background. A company need people with competence but the competence can be achieved trough other ways and educations than the typical business school and those people can bring new views and ideas to the company
  • Be patient and persevere
  • Everybody in a company can make a difference. The key is to manage to create the right mindset throughout the organization, to give the organization a soul

The last one is easy to say but I can imagine it is more difficult to achieve such a goal in reality.

Anastasia Nekrosova from Intelligent Mindsets had a presentation about sustainable leadership and what is needed from a successful sustainable leader. They had looked into what such a concept would entail and they concluded that sustainable leadership is more or less leadership for complexity as there is so much that goes under the title sustainability. Everything from a more effective production to environmental questions, HR questions and communcations. Which is why sustainability should be a strategical question concerned with everybody in the organization and not just a part of the organization.

I can't but agree with Alan Atkisson who said during in his lecture that if you work with sustainability you will never get bored!

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